Entangled Transitions Special Issue in Contemporary European History

As a result of our successful conference on Entangled Transitions, the Contemporary European History journal has published a special issue...

Programme now available for our conference on State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism

State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945 21-22 November 2017 Location: Reed Hall, University of Exeter,...

Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe

Professor James Mark’s co-edited volume Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe is now available through...

Join us for our next conference on State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945

Join us in Exeter for our conference exploring the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage...

The Future of the Past: Why the End of Yugoslavia is Still Important

By Ljubica Spaskovska A new socialist model is emerging in the western Balkans. Can its political vocabulary transcend the ethno-national dividing...

Writing Human Rights into the History of State Socialism

By Ned Richardson-Little The collapse of the Communist Bloc in 1989-1991 is viewed as one of the great triumphs of...

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Category: Socialism

CFP: Socialist Heritage Around the World: A Heritage Without Borders?

4th Biennial Conference”Heritage Across Borders”

Association of Critical Heritage Studies

1-6th September, 2018

Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Call for Papers: Socialist Heritage Around the World: A Heritage Without Borders?

Abstract:

This session intends to shed light on the heritage of Socialist pasts around the world. We particularly would like to explore and compare cases of former Soviet States and Republics, but also those of Asia, Latin America and Africa.  Indeed, Socialist world seemed to have been, if not excluded, not enough analyzed in heritage history. Therefore, we propose, not to project ‘Western’ categories onto Socialist countries, but rather to analyze specificity of Socialist conceptions and uses of heritage (Smith 2006) – taking thus on board the new guidelines of the growing scientific fields that are critical heritage studies.

Indeed, in these regimes base(d) on Marxism-Leninism, the edification of Socialism – in the literal and figurative sense – determined artistic, cultural and heritage policies. Ideology undeniably influenced the way of theorizing and ‘making’ heritage (Heinich 2006): it indeed oriented the choice of preserving the monuments of the past, as well as the type of artistic and cultural productions in the present, as also their way to be preserved for the future. Socialist regimes thus left material remains, especially monuments and architectures, that are still omnipresent all around the world. But is Socialist heritage a heritage without borders?

We invite cross-disciplinary papers to explore two main (but not limited) directions:

* First, the session aims to put into perspective ways of thinking and using heritage in Socialist countries. How did the Marxist-Leninist conception of Space and Time directly influenced heritage? What were profound reasons of heritagization in Socialist countries? Is there a “Socialist” interpretation of heritage? How did the Soviet conception of heritage influenced other countries? What are the differences between Socialist conceptions of heritage and those found in the capitalist world?

* Second, the session intends to better grasp the complexity of these “ideological heritages” in the era of post-Socialist transitions and social rupture. Policies toward material remains of Socialist pasts diverge indeed greatly and are often paradoxical, ranging from abandonment to “museumfication” depending on national contexts. We invite paper to precisely analyse the link between history writing, memory, identity (re)constructing and Socialist heritage in post-Socialist countries.

Deadline : 30th of November 2017

Guidelines to submit your proposal:
http://2018achs.com/#/session/paperDraft

If you need any information, please contact Jule Deschepper:  julie.deschepper@inalco.fr

Call for Papers: Exporting Socialism, Making Business? Intercultural Transfer, Circulation and Appropriations of Architecture in the Cold War Period 21-22 June 2018, IRS Erkner

Call for Papers: Exporting Socialism, Making Business? Intercultural Transfer, Circulation and Appropriations of Architecture in the Cold War Period
21-22 June 2018
IRS Erkner

Deadline for submissions: December 20, 2017

After WW II, architecture was used and misused as an ideological signifier for competing systems and for new national identities. Diverse actors and networks took part in architectural exchange within the blocks and beyond the Iron Curtain. Different aid projects posed an attempt to overcome political and economic divides, but at the same time they were often considered as foreign imposition or neo-colonial practice. Tensions between commercial interests and solidarity arose.

Against this background and referring to the growing scholarly interest for the multi-layered and multi-centred exchanges between the Global South and socialist as well as capitalist countries, we would like to investigate this issue in relation to architecture and constructing industry from an interdisciplinary perspective of architectural, urban and economic history as well as postcolonial studies and heritage preservation.

The conference focuses around five aspects:

I. Designing

  • What actors, institutions and networks worked on international architectural and urban planning projects on micro-, meso- and macro-scale? Which motives can be outlined? How was the challenge of designing in the abstract handled?
  • Which means and languages of architectural representation were chosen for international projects? How was this issue perceived from different perspectives (socialist, non-aligned, western)?
  • What role did ‘tropical architecture’ as a concept and subject in architectural teaching play?

II. Circulating

  • What were the geographies, temporalities and typologies of international architectural and urban planning projects?
  • How were ideas, knowledge and actors (such as experts and construction workers) circulated?
  • Which dynamics of bilateral and multilateral investments can be identified?

III. Appropriating

  • How were international projects adapted to different local circumstances (e.g. on climatic, cultural or economic level)?
  • Which local tensions arose due to the international projects? Where and how were the foreign investments contested? By whom?
  • How has been the international architectural heritage from the post-war era handled over the last decades?

IV. Feed-back mechanisms

  • What were the repercussions of international involvement on the architecture and urban planning in home countries?
  • How did the actors reflect upon the international involvement?
  • How were abroad projects presented in the experts’ discourse and in the media?

V. Framing

  • How were architectural projects influenced by the Cold War politics and economy (e.g. intra-block cooperation, power imbalance)? What was the ideological context of the architectural exchange (e.g. between different socialist countries around the world)?
  • Which role(s) assumed the CMEA and other international organisations in the construction industry?
  • Which concepts are relevant to the investigation of architectural projects (e.g. ‘multiple modernities’)? How can they be challenged?

Both case studies and cross-cutting analyses are welcome.

We strongly encourage submitting papers addressing the shifting the perspective to the non-European actors and their involvement in architectural projects.

Paper proposals (abstract of max. 450 words + short CV) should be addressed to both Dr. Andreas Butter (Andreas.Butter@leibniz-irs.de) and Dr. Monika Motylinska (Monika.Motylinska@leibniz-irs.de)

Deadline for submissions: December 20, 2017

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Ideological Recycling of the Socialist Legacy. Reading Townscapes of Minsk and Astana

Nelly Bekus’ article Ideological Recycling of the Socialist Legacy. Reading Townscapes of Minsk and Astana has recently been published in the Journal for Europe-Asia Studies, Volume 69, Issue 5, July 2017.

Her article addresses the ways in which the systemic transformation of the former Soviet republics has been reflected in urban development in two capital cities, Minsk (Belarus) and Astana (Kazakhstan). Changes taking place in these capitals have been analysed through the prism of an ideological recycling of the socialist legacy, a concept that permits exploration of which aspects of the socialist legacy have been jettisoned and which retained, in the process of formation of a capital. The article explores the nationalising strategies adopted by Belarus and Kazakhstan and reified by various practices, including those involving the recasting of cities. These strategies, however, are analysed not as inventions of post-Soviet regimes, but as forms of structural continuity.

→ Ideological Recycling of the Socialist Legacy. Reading Townscapes of Minsk and Astana

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The “Children of Crisis”: Making Sense of (Post)socialism and the End of Yugoslavia

Ljubica Spaskovska’s article The “Children of Crisis”: Making Sense of (Post)socialism and the End of Yugoslavia has just been published in the Journal of East European Politics and Societies, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2017. It forms part of a special section on the Genealogies of Memory, guest edited by Ferenc Laczó and Joanna Wawrzyniak.

Ljubica’s article traces certain mnemonic patterns in the ways individuals who belonged to the late-socialist Yugoslav youth elite articulated their values in the wake of Yugoslavia’s demise and the ways they make sense of the Yugoslav socialist past and their generational role a quarter of a century later. It detects narratives of loss, betrayed hopes, and a general disillusionment with politics and the state of post-socialist democracy that appear to be particularly frequent in the testimonies of the media and cultural elites. They convey a sense of discontent with the state of post-Yugoslav democracy and with the politicians—some belonging to the same generation—who embraced conservative values and a semi-authoritarian political culture. The article argues that an emerging new authoritarianism and the very process of progressive disillusionment with post-socialist politics allowed for the emergence and articulation of such alternative, noninstitutionalized individual memories that, whilst not uncritical of the Yugoslav past, tend to highlight its positive aspects.

East European Politics and Socieities, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2017

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The Other Globalisers conference programme now available

Join the 1989 after 1989 research team for our conference on the “Other Globalisers” – how the socialist and the non-aligned world shaped the rise of post-war economic globalisation. Based at Exeter, this conference is the second in a series of events exploring how processes and practices that emerged from the socialist world shaped the re-globalised world of our times.

The globalisation of the world economy has most often been portrayed as the final triumph of a neoliberal international order led by the West. By focusing on the socialist and the non-aligned world, this conference, by contrast, aims to rethink the histories of postwar globalisation by addressing forces and models of global economic interdependence other than those of Western capitalism. Acknowledging that actors from these worlds could be contributors to the emerging neoliberal consensus, as well as to other forms of regional economic integration and global trade that survive to this day, we hope to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars using different approaches to global interconnectedness, and/or working on a variety of regions.

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

Day 1 – July 6

The Upper Lounge, Reed Hall, University of Exeter

8.45-9.15         Welcome Drinks

9.15-9.30         Introduction by the Organisers

9.30-11.30       Panel 1: Chronologies of Socialist Globalisations
Discussant: Wolfgang Knöbl (Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung)

Marc-William Palen (University of Exeter) – Marx and Manchester: The Socialist Foundations of Post-1945 Globalisation

James Mark (University of Exeter) – Alternative? Socialist? Writing Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union into Postwar Globalisation

Christina Schwenkel (University of California – Riverside) – The Afterlife of Global Socialism: Technology and Mobility in the Postcolony 

11.30-11.45     Refreshment Break

11.45-13.00     Panel 2: Global Integration
Discussant: Federico Romero (European University Institute)

Angela Romano (University of Glasgow) – Competing Plans of Pan-European Cooperation: European Community’s Policy and Soviet Proposals During the 1970s Globalization

Besnik Pula (Virginia Tech) – From Reform Socialism to Transnational Capitalism: The Political Economy of Foreign Direct Investment in Central and Eastern Europe

13.00-14.30     Lunch Break

14.30-16.30     Panel 3: Global Institutions Without Imperialism
Discussant: Richard Toye (University of Exeter)

Johanna Bockman (George Mason University) – Financial Globalisation Through Socialist and Non-Aligned Banks

Max Trecker (Institute for Contemporary History, Berlin) – Globalisation by Import Substitution? The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) and the Global South

Vlad Pașca (New Europe College) – Global Advocacy or Self-Interested Relativism? Socialist Romania, International Organizations, and the Quest for Economic Development (1960s-1980s)

Ljubica Spaskovska (University of Exeter) – The Non-Aligned, the UN and the Defeat of the ‘New International Economic Order’

16.30-16.45     Coffee Break

16.45-17.45     Round Table Discussion

Johanna Bockman (George Mason University)

Wolfgang Knöbl (Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung)

Federico Romero (European University Institute)

19.00               Drinks Reception

20.30               Conference Dinner


Day 2 – July 7

Innovation Centre, University of Exeter

8.45-9.30         Welcome Drinks

9.30-10.45       Panel 4: Neoliberalism and the Socialist and Nonaligned Worlds
Discussant: James Mark (Exeter)

Patrick Neveling (School of Oriental and African Studies) – The New International Division of Labour before the New International Economic Order: Special Economic Zones and Neoliberal Globalisation since 1947

Tobias Rupprecht (University of Exeter) – “Neoliberal” Ideas in the Communist Periphery

10.45-11.00     Refreshment Break

11.00-13.00     Panel 5: Africa and Alternative Globalisations
Discussant: Patrick Neveling (School of Oriental and African Studies)

Alanna O’Malley (Leiden University) – The Road to UNCTAD: The Exploration of Economic Sovereignty by African Countries at the United Nations, 1958-1962

Darius A’Zami (Renmin University of China) – Extra-Liberal Interdependence: The Land Commission, Heterodox Globalisation and its Roots in Sino-Tanzanian Relations in the Cold War

Theodora Dragostinova (The Ohio State University) – The Second World in the Third: Bulgarian Notions of Economic and Cultural Development in Nigeria, 1976-1982

Pavel Szobi (European University Institute) – Was Angola the “Czechoslovak Africa?” The Obstacles of the ČSSR Support for the MPLA Government Between 1975 and 1992

13.00-14.00     Lunch Break

14.00-16.00     Panel 6: Resources and Experts
Discussant: Piers Ludlow (LSE)

Ned Richardson-Little (University of Exeter) – East Germany and the Failed Dream of Global Socialist Oil Solidarity

Jan Zofka (University of Leipzig) – Coal as the Other Oil: East German Technical Experts and Industrial Expansion in the Socialist World of the 1950s

Shuxi Yin (Hefei University of Technology) – Sino-Soviet Rubber Cooperation, 1950-1953

Andrew Kloiber (McMaster University) – Brewing Global Socialism: Coffee, East Germans and the World, 1949-1989

16.15-17.00     Concluding Discussion


 

If you would like to attend the Other Globaliser’s conference on the 6-7 July, please contact the Project Co-ordinator, Natalie Taylor – N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk

 

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Ljubica Spaskovska’s Monograph Now Available: The Last Yugoslav Generation

Manchester University Press have now published Dr Ljubica Spaskovska‘s new book – The Last Yugoslav Generation: The Rethinking of Youth Politics and Cultures in Late Socialism.

Her monograph examines the development of youth culture and politics in socialist Yugoslavia, focusing specifically on the 1980s. Rather than examining the 1980s as a mere prelude to the violent collapse of the country in the 1990s, the book recovers the multiplicity of political visions and cultural developments that evolved at the time and that have been largely forgotten in subsequent discussion. She argues that the youth of this generation sought to rearticulate the Yugoslav socialist framework in order to reinvigorate it and ‘democratise’ it, rather than destroy it altogether.

Image of Ljubica SpaskovskaLjubica Spaskovska is an Associate Research Fellow working on our research project 1989 after 1989 at the University of Exeter. Her research maps the history of the end of Yugoslavia’s global engagements not only as a subject/phenomenon associated with political/diplomatic history, but also as a broader societal project.

Purchase The Last Yugoslav Generation

 

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Join us for our next conference on State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945

Join us in Exeter for our conference exploring the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage at both domestic and international levels.

Conference dates: 21-22 November 2017

Conference location: The University of Exeter

Call for Papers deadline: 20 June 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS

Histories of heritage usually perceive their object of study as a product of western modernity, and exclude the socialist world. Yet, understood as a cultural practice and an instrument of cultural power, and as a “right and a resource”, heritage has played important roles in managing the past and present in many societies and systems. In the postwar period, preservation became a key element of culture in socialist and non-aligned states from China, the Soviet Union, and the Eastern Bloc to Asia, Latin America and Africa. Attention paid to the peoples’ traditions and heritage became a way to manifest the superiority and historical necessity of socialist development. However, the contribution of socialist states and experts to the development of the idea of heritage is still to be fully excavated.

The conference aims to understand the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage at both domestic and international levels. This phenomenon was in part the result of country-specific factors – such as a reaction to rapid industrial development; the destruction of both the Second World War or wars of national liberation; and the necessity to (re)-invent national traditions on socialist terms. But it was also due the growth of a broader international consensus on international heritage protection policies – in which socialist and non-aligned states and their experts played an important role. To this end, the conference will also address the relationship between socialist conceptions of heritage and those found in the capitalist world: to what extent can we discern the convergence of Eastern and Western dynamics of heritage discourses and practices over the second half of the twentieth century? To what degree did heritage professionals from socialist states play a role in the formation of the transnational and transcultural heritage expertise? To what extent did heritage still play a role in Cold War competition? Socialist states claimed that their respect for progressive traditions and material culture distinguished their superior methods of development from that of the capitalist world. Non-Aligned countries often attempted to blend aspects of socialist and capitalist logics of cultural heritage politics.

Conference themes to be addressed in papers include (but are not limited to):

  • The rise of interest in, and conceptualisation of, heritage under socialist and non-aligned states;
  • the transnational and transcultural circulation of ideas about heritage both within an expanding world of socialist states and across Cold War ideological divides;
  • the role of socialist experts in international debates over heritage;
  • the role of individual actors as cultural brokers within the cultural heritage field;
  • the role of international organisations, such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, ICCROM, UIA and others in providing a platform for professional communication and knowledge exchange involving the socialist world;
  • the role of the Cold War in the development of heritage;
  • the role of national traditions, experience and transnational cooperation across the Cold War divide in the creation of concepts and practices of socialist heritage;
  • the legacies of the work of socialist states and experts in contemporary heritage practices.

 

Abstracts of 300-500 words, together with an accompanying short CV should be submitted to Natalie Taylor (N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk) by June 20, 2017.

The selected participants will be notified by July 20, 2017.

Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that potential contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.

To download a copy of the Call for Papers and for further information about the conference go to our State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism conference page


 

It is kindly supported by Exeter University’s Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective.

Conference conveners:

Prof. James Mark and Dr. Nelly Bekus, University of Exeter, Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective

Dr. Michael Falser, Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, Heidelberg University

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Post-Doctoral Vacancy with PanEur1970s and EUI

The European University Institute (EUI) has a vacancy for a Research Assistant in the Department of History and Civilization working under the direction of Professor Frederico Romero as part of the PanEur1970s – Looking West: the European Socialist regimes facing pan-European cooperation and the European Community project.

The successful applicant will research into socialist Romania’s archives and other sources on elites’ views, policies and ideas on processes of European cooperation and integration in the 1970s. Full participation in the project activities, including publication of research papers and essays, participation in conferences and dissemination activities will be required.

Post-Doctoral Position in Romania and European Co-operation in the 1970s
24 months, full time (30/30) (anticipated start date September 2017)
Based in Florence
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 21/04/2017

The appointed candidate will receive a monthly net salary of approximately 1800 EUR + allowances if applicable (See Conditions of Employment)

Funding for research missions and participation to international conferences will also be provided.

The candidate will have a PhD in History (preferably international or economic history) or in a closely related discipline, as well as research experience on Romania’s archival records.

S/he will be fluent in Romanian and have good command of English.

Knowledge of other European languages may constitute an advantage but is not required.

How to apply

Applicants should read the Vacancy notice first. Applicants must fill in the on-line application form and upload documents as requested. Only applications submitted through the on line form will be accepted.

For more information contact: serena.belligoli@eui.eu

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Join us for our conference on the “Other Globalisers”, Exeter 6-7 July 2017

The Other Globalisers: How the Socialist and the Non-Aligned World Shaped the Rise of Post-War Economic Globalisation

Location: Exeter University, UK
Date: 6-7 July 2017

Abstract Deadline: 18 March 2017

Papers are now invited for our exciting conference addressing how the socialist and non-aligned world shaped the rise of post-war economic globalisation. This conference is the second in a series of events exploring how processes and practices that emerged from the socialist world shaped the re-globalised world of our times.

CONFERENCE SYNOPSIS

In the wake of the Second World War, the world economy began to ‘reglobalise’ – following the disintegrative processes of the interwar period. This story has most often been told as the final triumph of a neoliberal international order led by the West. Recent research, however, suggests that the creation of our modern interconnected world was not driven solely by the forces of Western capitalism, nor was it the only model of global economic interdependence that arose in the second half of the twentieth century. This conference aims to rethink the histories of postwar globalisation by focusing on the socialist and non-aligned world, whose roles in the rise of an economically interconnected world have received substantially less attention.

This conference aspires to address a wide variety of processes, practices and projects – such as efforts to create alternative systems of international trade, new business practices, through to theoretical conceptualisations of economic interconnectedness – and examine a broad range of actors, such as e.g. governments, experts, international institutions, and business ventures. It will also explore whether such initiatives were alternative at all: as recent research has suggested, actors from these worlds could be contributors to the emerging neoliberal consensus, as well as to other forms of regional economy and global trade that survive to this day. We also hope to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars using different approaches to global interconnectedness, and/or working on a variety of regions (e.g. Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union).

Abstracts of 300-500 words, together with an accompanying short CV should be submitted to Natalie Taylor (N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk) by 18 March 2017.

The selected participants will be notified by the end of March 2017.

Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that potential contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.

This event is kindly supported by Exeter University’s Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective.

The full call for papers is available on our conference page

→ Download the Call for Papers The Other Globalisers

 

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State Socialism & International Criminal & Humanitarian Law after 1945 Conference Programme

State Socialism, Legal Experts and the Genesis of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law after 1945
November 24-26, 2016

state-socialism-conference-locationConference Venue:
Humboldt University of Berlin
Unter den Linden 6
10117 Berlin
Room 2249a

The programme for our international collaborative conference with the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East-Central Europe (GWZO), and the Humboldt University of Berlin is now available. It will take place on the 24-26 November, 2016 at Unter den Linden 6, Room 2249a, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.

It brings together 3 research projects – 1989 after 1989, Processes of Juridification in International Relations since 1850 based at Leipzig and Jurists in International Politics Practice and Practitioners of International Law in the 19th and 20th Century based in Berlin.

Conference Synopsis

In the history of international law, the socialist bloc has been generally relegated to the role of roadblock in fulfilling the ideals of Western liberalism. This conference seeks to question established narratives that have ignored or downplayed the role of state-socialist governments and legal experts in shaping the evolution of international criminal and humanitarian law after the end of the Second World War. With a geographic scope covering the Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc, Africa, and China, the conference explores the socialist world’s doctrines and international engagements concerning the codification of different international crimes (including crimes against peace, the crimes of aggression, Apartheid, terrorism, slavery, narcotics trafficking and more), approaches to humanitarian intervention, and the relationship between state sovereignty and international law. The conference advances the idea that rather than simply block progress, socialist initiatives played a vital role in the production of norms and ideas that continue to be relevant for the current international criminal and humanitarian legal system.

state-socialism_vor_web_1

The conference commences at 14:00 on the 24 November with a welcome address and introduction from the conference organisers – Marcus Payk, Humboldt University of Berlin; Dietmar Mueller and Stefan Troebst, GWZO Leipzig; Raluca Grosescu, University of Exeter and Ned Richardson-Little, University of Exeter. Papers will then be presented that deal with International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law in socialist legal doctrines.

Panels on the following day will include papers on state socialist contributions to and critiques of the Geneva Conventions; decolonisation, gender, and International Humanitarian Law, state socialist contributions to International Criminal Law; and Transnational Criminality. The final day will debate International Criminal Law in state socialist national settings and will include case studies from China and Hungary.

state-socialism_rueck_web_2

Conference Programme

To register your interest in attending this conference please contact Raluca Grosescu and Dietmar Mueller

More information on the conference can be found on our conference pages.

 

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